When Nuggets center JaVale McGee decided to toss the basketball off the backboard and dunk it, and subsequently make the highlight reel, he wasn’t acting like himself.
Then, with a face that showed sheer astonishment, when he put his finger horizontally over his upper lip to celebrate, again, that wasn’t JaVale. It was his alter-ego, and he was having a lot of fun.
“It was my moustache. It was Pierre,” McGee said Wednesday smirking.
His secondary personality, the one he called the ‘smooth operator’ on Twitter, can get him in trouble at times with head coach George Karl but in this case it work out. Pierre overcame JaVale and turned what was about to be a turnover or just an awkward layup into a spectacular, athletic play.
“I don’t know why, I just threw it off the backboard,” admitted McGee. “And I knew I had to go get it, if I threw it off the backboard, I went and got it.”
The self alley-oop was impressive in and of itself but it was the ensuing reaction and gesture, McGee’s finger moustache, permanently tattooed on his index finger that truly topped it off. The exclamation point nearly overshadowed the preceding play.
Neither appeased Karl.
“I’m okay with it, but that’s basically it. I’m not much more than okay with it. I think it’s flamboyant,” said Karl, who, like most of us, doesn’t understand Pierre. “That’s a part of our league right now. It’s not my favorite part, but I’m glad it went in. I’m glad he made it and hopefully he doesn’t try to do a lot of it in the future.”
JaVale will listen to coach and stick to the fundamentals, but we never know what Pierre is going to do.